How to Choose the Best Wedding Photographer.
So you’re engaged!
He’s the man of your dreams and you can’t believe the BIG day is finally going to happen. All of those daydreams of the perfect fairytale wedding are going to pay off in the most fabulous wedding ever…
But where to start? Let’s see… there’s setting the date, the save the date cards, invitations, dresses, tuxes, flowers, rings, wedding party, ceremony spot, reception spot, wedding planner, officiant, favors, table settings, event rentals, music, food, drink… photography?
Wow. I know what you’re thinking: “Where do I start?”
I’d recommend starting with the locales (the “where”), because sometimes you might get some great recommendations from the staff for your other vendors, or you may realize that you want vendors with experience working at your reception or ceremony sites. Personally, I think experience at a venue is a good attribute in a photographer, but not required. You should never base your decisions solely off of whether or not a vendor has worked at a location before. Because, yes, they may have experience there, but they may also be a huge a**!
Which brings me to the absolutely, positively, no-question-about-it, most important aspect of choosing the perfect photographer for your wedding:
That’s right. It’s not style or price! Both are valid, but in my humble opinion they’re not as important, and here’s why:
You may absolutely love a photographer’s work, style, and price point, but if your photographer does not make you feel comfortable on your wedding day, then the photographs will reflect that. Make sure your photographer’s personality reflects your own preferred vibe for your wedding day (i.e. fun and sexy, or serious and reverent, etc…)
For example: Charlotte and I are goofy, fun photographers. We love to goof around and play with the couple and the wedding party. I often will speak with a vague artsy European accent as I ask my photo subjects to “give me sexy”, or “work it”… It’s always fun and I’m a clown because we’ve found that laughing fun couples take the best fun/sexy shots. I mean, what’s more sexy and romantic than a shot of a bride completely in love with her new husband and laughing gorgeously as he holds her in his loving arms? Nothing.
And how do you get a bride/couple to do that; to look great on cue? Do you shout out, “Laugh and look good doing it!”? Nope. That only works for professional models, and usually not that well.
To get real people to do what we want, we have to get them to really do it! So if we need a confident and sexy bride, we need to help her feel confident and sexy. If we want a playful shot of the couple, then we need to help them feel comfortable letting their guard down and flirting on camera. And the easiest way that we’ve found to get past most of our clients guards is to simply be honest, friendly, and playful. And it’s almost never a hard thing to do because it’s a wedding! It’s a big party anyway, and we treat it as such and simply make friends.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because it helps to illustrate my point that personality matters most. You may love our work, and you might love the idea of having photographs from your wedding that look like ours, but if my description of how we work sends a chill up your spine or curls your toes, then no matter how much you like our work, in reality we would be a horrible choice for your wedding photographers.
Brides who want a reverent, very serious day with an almost fashion photography atmosphere (where the photographers basically say all that I say, but the difference is they are completely serious about it!), would be making a huge mistake by booking us. I don’t have a serious bone in my body. I’ve been verified by the FDA as 100% pure fun-guy. So, if you’re a couple who wants to basically have a day long party and wants the photography to be fun and artistic, then we’d be perfect for your wedding.
So what’s the key to choosing the perfect wedding photographer?
Start with style and price, but always base your final decision on personality. It’s the formula for perfect wedding photography.